This looks yummy, right? Take it from the one who devoured it: yes, more than yummy though, more like scrummdiddly!
There are certain ingredients I buy without any notions about what to do with them, or indeed in what dish I should use them, and green beans and pearl onions happen to be in that category. The reason for such purchasing abandon is that both of these vegetables are very hardy and can languish for weeks while I ponder and procrastinate.
Green beans are the greatest green vegetable around. They can take all sorts of abuse, like long slow cooking with beef or pork, and at the other end of the cooking spectrum, can be quick fried with a little soy sauce and mirin and taste equally delicious.
I love these little onions which give a sweetness to any dish they are part of. The only finicky part is getting off their very thin onion skin, which actually puts me off cooking them more often. There is a trick to that problem (blanching them first), but it is still a bit of a pain, and takes more time than I have most evenings.
There are other times however when they are worth the trouble, and this was one of those times. I cooked them as part of our Thanksgiving meal last week and am strongly thinking of making them for Christmas too. Sauteing beans with little pearl onions, while adding a few more ingredients I happen to have lying around, made this a feast unto itself.
I strongly suggest your arming yourself with onions and beans, and when the humor takes you…make this!
You will need:
2 cups pearl onions
3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 lbs green beans, cut into 1/2 ” to 1″ pieces
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup slivered almonds (finely sliced almonds) & Toasted (directions below)
1 tsp coarse sea-salt (I used Maldon sea salt flakes)
freshly cracked black pepper,
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp cumin (optional)get
1 – Prep ingredients (chop beans, chop garlic, and gather the rest of the ingredients. Toast almond: Preheat oven to 350* and spread almonds in a single layer on baking sheet. place in oven and cook for 4 minutes, turn and continue to cook for another 4 minutes. Place in bowl to add in dish later.
2 – The onions need to be blanched and peeled as follows: Put pot of water on high and when it boils add the onions. Cook at a rolling boil for about 3 minutes. Drain in colander and when they have cooled, snip the root end with a scissors and pop the onion out by squeezing the other end with your thumb and index finger. The onion will pop right out. (you may loose the first layer of onion, but what you loose is made up greatly by how speedy and fuss-free this process is)
3 – Put big saute pan on med/ high heat and add oil. When it is hot, add the onions and cook until starting to get brown spots all over (about 6 to 8 minutes).
4 – Add the green beans, garlic and thyme sprigs and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. Add more oil if necessary. Cook until beans are cooked but still have a bite (pop them in your mouth as you go to test).
5 – Add the salt, several grinds of pepper, cumin and pepper flakes (if using) and stir. Taste and add more of everything if you think it needs it. Finally add the toasted almonds and stir.
Serve immediately or cover and keep warm until ready to serve. This can be made hours before and reheated very quickly in the pan right before serving.